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Temple University Hospital Earns American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award

News May 20, 2013

(Philadelphia, PA) – Temple University Hospital has earned the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award. The award recognizes Temple University Hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of stroke care by ensuring that stroke patients receive treatment for at least 24 months according to nationally accepted standards and recommendations.

“This is a great honor for Temple ,” said John N. Kastanis, FACHE, President and CEO of Temple University Hospital. “The minutes after a patient has a stroke are crucial, and Temple has systems and protocols in place to provide excellent care for those patients in a timely manner. This award confirms that those systems and protocols are highly effective in the treatment of our stroke patients.”

Temple University Hospital has developed a comprehensive system for rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients admitted to the emergency department. This includes always being equipped to provide brain imaging scans, having neurologists available to conduct patient evaluations, and using clot-busting medications when appropriate.

To earn the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, Temple University Hospital demonstrated 85 percent adherence in the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke key measures for 24 or more consecutive months. These include aggressive use of medications like antithrombotics, anticoagulation therapy, deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis, cholesterol-reducing drugs and smoking cessation.

“Temple has more than 800 stroke-related admissions per year, so the achievement of this award is a great accomplishment,” said Paul M. Katz, MD, Director of the Stroke Program at Temple University Hospital. “Treating stroke patients is a team effort, and every member of our multidisciplinary stroke team lends their expertise and hard work each and every day for the care of all of our patients.”

In addition to the Get With The Guidelines–Stroke Gold Plus Award, Temple University Hospital has also been recognized as a recipient of the association’s Target: Stroke Honor Roll, for improving stroke care. Over the past quarter, at least 50 percent of the hospital’s eligible ischemic stroke patients have received tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, within 60 minutes of arriving at the hospital (known as ‘door-to-needle’ time). A thrombolytic, or clot-busting agent, tPA is the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the urgent treatment of ischemic stroke. If given intravenously in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, tPA has been shown to significantly reverse the effects of stroke and reduce permanent disability.

“The American Stroke Association commends Temple University Hospital for its success in implementing these standards of care and protocols,” said Lee H. Schwamm, MD, Chair of the Get With The Guidelines National Steering Committee, and Director of the TeleStroke and Acute Stroke Services at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The full implementation of acute care and secondary prevention recommendations and guidelines is a critical step in saving the lives and improving outcomes of stroke patients.”

Get With The Guidelines–¬Stroke uses the “teachable moment,” the time soon after a patient has had a stroke, when they are most likely to listen to and follow their healthcare professionals’ guidance. Studies demonstrate that patients who are taught how to manage their risk factors while still in the hospital reduce their risk of a second heart attack or stroke. Through Get With The Guidelines–Stroke, customized patient education materials are made available at the point of discharge, based on patients’ individual risk profiles. The take-away materials are written in an easy-to-understand format and are available in English and Spanish. In addition, the Get With The Guidelines Patient Management Tool provides access to up-to-date cardiovascular and stroke science at the point of care.

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

About Get With The Guidelines
Get With The Guidelines® is the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s hospital-based quality improvement program that empowers healthcare teams to save lives and reduce healthcare costs by helping hospitals follow evidence-based guidelines and recommendations. For more information, visit